Laurie Halse Anderson
I never had a huge desire to read this book. The cover wasn't all that striking to me and the author was one that (until Wintergirls, at least) I was passingly familiar with but not a big fan of. When the Wesley Scroggins/censorship debacle came about suddenly everyone online was saying how much Speak meant to them and what a great and powerful and important book it was. And it turned out that one of my favorite authors, Sarah Ockler, cites it as a huge inspiration for her writing YA novels in the first place. The whole internet was telling me to read this book so, you know, I sort of had to. Thank you, Interwebs, because this book is just as great and powerful and influential as you told me it was. If I had to choose, I still love Wintergirls more, but without Speak there would be no Wintergirls and no YA genre as we know it.
2. Anna and the French Kiss
When I first heard about this book way back long ago on Stephanie's blog, it was sort of unnamed and vague and it sounded really good. But then it came out. AND EVERYONE LOVED IT OMG. And I don't typically love the books that everyone else does so I shied away from it, suspecting that it might be another Audrey, Wait! situation. But as much as I said I wasn't going to read it, Khy kept gushing about it and telling me I had to read it and saying how great it was and eventually I gave it. And you know what? My love for this book knows no bounds. Thank you, Khy, for making me read this one.
I so wasn't going to read this book. I don't do fantasy/paranormal/whatever and vampires are not exactly my cup of tea. But a friend I'd grown up with assured me that it really wasn't very heavy on the paranormal and it was mostly a love story anyway and that Bella reminded her of me. (Now, I know everybody hates Bella, but in my defense (a) the friend had only read Twilight at this point, not New Moon, and (b) there are some similarities.) So, a thank you to Ashley; if she hadn't said that Bella reminded her of me I never would have picked this up. And as much as everyone hates on this series and as horrible and unhealthy as I believe Bella and Edward's relationship to be, I really do love the books (the first three, at least).
4. The History of Love
Back when I actually used my tumblr account, there was a tumblog I followed that was completely in love with this book, singing its praises at every turn. This wasn't a tumblr dedicated to books, so of course I was intrigued. The quotes she posted from the book were absolutely breathtaking, so much so that I bought the book the first time I saw it and later found a second copy for my grandma. This book, it is so beautiful, so lovely. Thank you, tumblr.
As with a few other books on this list, I originally had absolutely no interest in this book. I used to frequent AW so I knew of its existence quite a while before it was actually published, but the idea of a book about a boy on a mission to break all his bones... well, it did not sound like my type of book. But then Cindy Pon asked if I'd read it. When I told her I hadn't, she said that it was beautiful and amazing and that she thought I would love it. This was surprising because, as I said, the idea of it didn't appeal to me at all. However, I did read it (thank you, Cindy!) and she was right. She was so right. Though the premise of this book is outrageous and dark and scary the book itself is about family and love and strength and it is so, so good.
6. If I Stay
There are few bloggers (possibly none) whose recommendations I trust as much as Adele's. So when she first talked up this book I knew that -- even though I hadn't even heard of it before -- I had to read it. And I'm so glad I did because it's every bit as amazing as she said it was and it's one of those rare books I honestly can't believe more people haven't read. It's just that bloody brilliant.
Laurie Halse Anderson
Yep, another LHA book. And apologies for the fact that I don't remember who told me I had had had to read this one, but I know it was somebody. Because although I'd read a few of LHA's books before, I'd yet to find one that blew me away and didn't feel a huge urge to read Wintergirls when it came out. But somebody -- and I wish I could remember who -- told me I absolutely had to read it and it was the book I was waiting for: the one that blew me away.
Heidi R. Kling
The fact that I read this book at all is due entirely to two things. First of all Khy for assuring me that it was not about mermaids (I somehow had that in my brain), and second of all the brilliant #sealove Twitter campaign. Before, I was mildly curious about this debut. After, I was super-jazzed about it and proceeded to spend an entire lazy afternoon reading, unable to put the book down.
9. Fate is the Hunter
Ernest K. Gann
I feel like a cheat putting this book on the list because (surprise!) I haven't actually finished reading it yet. It's the type of book I really have to devote some brain time to and with so many other books waiting (including ones that need to be reviewed) and school demanding my thinking-times, it's been pushed aside. That said, it's a brilliant brilliant book and so well written and I can't wait to get back into it. My dad had been pushing this book on me for years (literally) before he finally found a copy of it. So, thank you Dad.
I actually don't have a tenth book, so I challenge YOU to recommend something I'll absolutely love.